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visual basic programming books - Murach's 4 Database Programming

Murach’s ADO.NET 4 Database Programming with Visual Basic 2010

by Anne Boehm and Ged Mead
18 chapters, 714 pages, 320 illustrations
Published March 2011
ISBN 978-1-890774-62-2
eBook: $49.50

If you’re still using Visual Studio 2010, this is a great book for learning database programming with ADO.NET. It shows you how to use Visual Studio 2010, ADO.NET 4, and Visual Basic 2010 to develop database applications for both Windows and web applications.

If you’re using Visual Studio 2012, this is still a good book for learning database programming with ADO.NET because nothing much has changed with VS 2012. However, you will have trouble running the downloadable applications and exercises on VS 2012.

I have been in software development for over 20 years and in technical training for over 10 years. I have come to appreciate books that are well written and well thought-out. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. It is clear, concise, and with plenty of examples (this is very important!!!). My thanks to you and your staff for their outstanding work."

Mike Bourne, CTO

  • About this Book
  • Table of Contents
  • FREE Downloads
  • Book FAQs
  • Corrections
  • Reviews

What the prerequisites are

This book assumes that you have basic Visual Studio and Visual Basic skills, the kind you should get from any core Visual Basic book. If you don’t have all the core skills for developing real-world applications, we recommend Murach’s Visual Basic 2012 (the Visual Basic language hasn’t changed from VS 2010 to VS 2012).

What this book does

To present the database programming skills in a manageable progression, this book is divided into five sections.

Section 1: Introduction to ADO.NET programming

This section explains the background concepts and skills that you need for database programming with ADO.NET. If you’re new to database programming, this section is essential to getting started right. But if you already have database experience, you can skim this section.

Section 2: How to use data sources and datasets for RAD

This section shows you how to use data sources and datasets for prototyping and Rapid Application Development (RAD). These are the skills that will help you quickly develop working versions of database applications so they can be reviewed and enhanced.

Section 3: Three-layer Windows applications

This section shows you how to develop 3-layer applications that use presentation, business, and database classes. This is the approach that many professionals use because it applies a logical structure to database applications. You’ll also learn how to use object data sources in this section, because they can make this approach to application development even more effective.

Section 4: ADO.NET for web applications

Here, you’ll learn how to use ASP.NET data controls to develop web applications. That includes controls for both SQL and object data sources as well as controls that present data, like the GridView and DetailsView controls. These controls help you develop database-driven web applications faster and better than ever. And object data sources give you complete control over how the database processing is done.

Section 5: Advanced database programming skills

Last, you’ll learn advanced skills that every ADO.NET programmer should be aware of. These include how to work with XML, how to use the Report Designer to create reports, how to use the ReportViewer control to display reports in both Windows and web applications, how and why to use LINQ instead of SQL to query a database, and how to use the Entity Framework in combination with LINQ so you can work with objects and let the framework handle the database operations.

Why you'll learn faster and better with this book

Like all our books, this one has features that you won’t find in competing books. Here are just a few of those features.

  • This book explains everything you need to know to develop ADO.NET database applications at a professional level. That sounds simple. But to get all of this information from other sources would take you three or four other books – and you’d still have to figure out how it all worked together!
  • To show you how all of the pieces of a database application interact, this book presents 23 complete applications that range from the simple to the complex. As we see it, the only way to master database programming is to study the code in applications like these. And yet, you won’t find anything like this in other books.
  • With most competing books, you can waste a lot of time trying to find a snippet of information that you know is in there…somewhere. But with its “paired pages” presentation method and a comprehensive index, this book becomes the ideal on-the-job reference, long after you’ve used it to master its skills.

Companion books

Murach’s Visual Basic 2012

As you read this book, you may discover that your Visual Basic skills aren’t as strong as they ought to be. In that case, we recommend that you get a copy of Murach’s Visual Basic 2012. It will get you up-to-speed with the language. It will show you how to work with the most useful .NET classes. And it will show you how to use business classes, which is essential when you develop 3-layer database applications.

Murach’s SQL Server 2012 for Developers

Another book that we recommend for database programmers is Murach’s SQL Server 2012 for Developers. To start, this book shows you how to write SQL statements in all their variations so you can code the right SQL statements for your ADO.NET command objects. This often gives you the option of having SQL Server do more of the data handling so your ADO.NET applications can do less. Beyond that, this book shows you how to design and implement databases and how to use advanced features like stored procedures, triggers, and functions.

Murach’s ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012

If you need to learn how to develop web applications with Visual Basic, Murach’s ASP.NET 4.5 with VB 2012 is the third companion. By the time you finish the first four chapters, you’ll know how to develop and test multi-form web applications. By the time you finish the book, you’ll be able to develop commercial web applications at a professional level. 

What software you need

This book assumes that you have Visual Studio 2010 installed on your computer or that you have access to Visual Studio 2010 so you can install it. That can be any of the full editions of Visual Studio 2010:

  • Professional Edition
  • Premium Edition
  • Ultimate Edition

Or, it can be the combination of these Express Editions:

  • Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition to develop Windows applications
  • Visual Web Developer 2010 Express Edition to develop ASP.NET 4 applications
  • SQL Server 2008 Express Edition to develop database applications with these editions

If you use the Visual Basic 2010 Express Edition with this book, you should be aware that this edition doesn’t let you create reports as shown in chapter 16. But apart from that, the Express Edition has only a few minor differences from the retail editions.

What people say about this book

Here's what other developers have said about the .NET 4 and previous editions:

"Solid coverage of many concepts. I almost titled this review solid and wide, which describes both the material covered and the physical volume; it's a big book. The authors present a wide range of database concepts with realistic code examples. There is enough here to get you up to 'industrial strength' techniques."

Posted at an online bookseller

"A good hands-on tutorial: Real good as a standalone reference or when used in combination with Murach's SQL Server book. Excellent to use in teaching a course on ADO.NET principles. Well-written, and aesthetically pleasing for developers' reference and/or instructors' use."

Jeff Laatsch, CS/CIS Information Specialist & Professor

"Your ADO.NET book is fantastic. I have been in IT for 11 years and have purchased several books in my day that deal with some aspect of programming, and none of them have been this complete. The examples are clearcut, concise, and functional. I will definitely purchase other books from your company in the future."

Mr. Stacey Pierce, Programmer, Radcliffe, Kentucky

"Your ADO.NET book helped me develop a full-fledged database application for work from the ground up. You've skillfully combined a reference book with all of the necessary components of an instructional book."

Ali Mutlu, Director of IT, XMED Inc., Addison, Texas

"Your excellent primer on ADO.NET is the first such book I have seen that makes real sense to me, because it actually focuses on something close to real-life database programming. In addition, the writing is clear, and the program samples are amazingly bug-free."

Curt Deyrup, Data Analyst, Data Processing Div., Bergen County, New Jersey

"I buy almost all your books on Visual Basic and .NET. When I saw your new ADO.NET book, I did not wait. I ran to Barnes & Noble on my lunch hour and I bought it and the SQL Server book also. Keep up the great publishing!"

Michael A. Gooley, Sunnyside, New York

"Your VB series as it is the clearest I have picked up. You guys beat Wrox hands down."

To view the table of contents for this book in a PDF, just click on the link below:

Table of Contents

To get a better idea of how well this book works, you can download one of its chapters in PDF format.

Sample chapters

Chapter 3: How to work with data sources and datasets

Chapter 3 shows you how to use ADO.NET data sources, ADO.NET datasets, and Visual Studio to quickly develop your first database applications.

Chapter 3 PDF (1.94Mb) Download Now

The book applications and exercises

Warning: These applications will only work with Visual Studio 2010.

This download includes:

  • all of the applications that are presented in the book
  • starting points for the exercises in the book
  • solutions to the exercises so you can check your own work
  • the database and files that are used by the applications and exercises
  • a batch file that uses a SQL script to install the database

Appendix A in the book describes how to install and use these files.

Exe file for Windows (13.1Mb) Download Now

On this page, we’ll be posting answers to the questions that come up most often about this book. So if you have any questions that you haven’t found answered here at our site, please email us. Thanks!

To view the corrections for this book in a PDF, just click on this link:

View the corrections

Then, if you find any other errors, please email us, so we can correct them in the next printing of the book. Thank you!

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